Apple claims to have created 300,000 UK jobs

James Titcomb
Apple boss Tim Cook on stage during the Worldwide developer's conference in June 2017 - AP

Apple has sought to counter accusations that technology is destroying rather than creating jobs, claiming its "app economy" is responsible for almost 300,000 jobs in the UK.

The iPhone giant said that across Europe, 1.76m jobs rely on the company, either through being directly employed by Apple, working for a supplier, or through jobs created by apps on Apple devices.

The figures, calculated by the Washington-based Progressive Policy Institute, say that 291,000 jobs in the UK rely on access to Apple's App Store, up from 242,000 two years ago. 

This makes the UK the capital of Europe's app economy, ahead of Germany and France. London is also the single biggest city for app-based jobs, with 138,000 compared to Paris's 119,000 according to the report.

The figures take a broad definition of jobs dependent on Apple that includes, for example, Uber drivers and Deliveroo couriers.

Apple says its smartphone apps are responsible for thousands of jobs created in the UK 

They also include so-called "spillover jobs" such as construction and retail jobs supported by income from apps.

Apple directly employs 6,459 people in the UK, making Britain the company's biggest base in Europe by number of employees.

Apple plans to open a new European base at the former site of Battersea Power Station in 2021.

The report comes amid fears that the rise of technology is destroying jobs, with multi-billion dollar businesses often created with just a handful of developers.

Across Europe Apple says it has created 1.76m jobs, made up of 22,000 employees, 170,000 employed by suppliers and 1.57m supported by apps.

It said European developers have earned €20bn (£17.6m) since the iPhone's App Store was created a decade ago.

The report comes as Apple battles the European Commission over claims the company has avoided billions of euros of taxes in Ireland. Both the company and the Irish government have appealed the European Commission's 2016 ruling that it owes €13bn (£11.5bn) in unpaid taxes.